My Life Sucks…

I think there is a pretty fair part of the folks in this country who think their life sucks. They haven’t had a raise in umpteen years. They have to have someone to blame and that person is often those they see as getting the “breaks” in life.

2018-04-07_16-07-22.pngIt’s pretty hard for them to admit that for the most part “my life sucks because of me”. That reality just doesn’t sink for most of us.  They say they are stuck in an area with no good paying jobs but they never consider moving to a more prosperous area.  They say the only good jobs are those requiring an education but never consider the need to learn anything beyond what they presently know. It’s just too easy to blame others for their problems.  The morbidly obese guy says “poor me” and then consumes 6,000 calories per day and just doesn’t seem to see the connection.

Those of us who have had some success in life have for the most part worked to get it.  It wasn’t handed to us on a gold platter like it was for #CO3 and others like him. For us, the adversities in our life have reinforced our character. We did something to change our circumstances instead of just moaning about them.

I want to close this post with an anonymous quote:

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Quit blaming others for your circumstances in life. It is often just that simple.

 

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

A Nice Change…

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Since this is my “aging week” here on RJsCorner, I will flat out tell you that I am thoroughly enjoying my “golden years” and yes they are proving to be golden.  All my life I have fretted about the future.

  • What will I be when I grow up?
  • Is there some other occupation that I was really built for?
  • Since I am a weird person, should I remain a bachelor?
  • Should I try to get another job or just retire?

So many questions about life when you are young. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every minute of my time so far. Well, almost every minute. But I often suffered to one degree or another with depression.  I perceived myself as always dreaming of more but accepting less. Those worries and frets are finally behind me.  From here on out, all there is left to do is enjoy it and I am determined to enjoy each and every day as it comes.  One day at a time is my new motto in life.

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Turning Back the Odometer…

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canstockphoto38063363.jpgI like old cars and I am kinda proud of passing on some of my experiences in life here on RJsCorner. Yeah, there are things, actually quite a few, that I would like to have been different but even the undesired things are an important part of my life’s experiences, that looking back have made me who I am.

If I hadn’t been deaf I wouldn’t have the level of empathy that I do. If I had not grown up in a single very stoic parent household I wouldn’t have the understanding of such things as I do. As another quote from Will says “Adversity builds character”. It made me who I am and I am quite proud of that fact.

I see so many people today that try to turn back their odometers.  They get hair transplants or cosmetic surgery to hide their years.  I can truthfully say that I am proud of the way I look. It does indeed show I have traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.

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Bragging About It…

This and the next few posts are to honor of the new header above about Will’s quote on old age.  I don’t know quite what the definition of “old age” is but I kinda think I might be getting there.

I just don’t understand how I got all the way to this point in my life? It seems like yesterday that I was in college working my butt off to pay for school and to graduate. Admittedly my high school memories are pretty sparse now. I played those years out in the background as a shy kid who was totally clumsy in a social environment.  How have almost sixty years gone by?

I don’t think I have that many years left so I best be getting to the bragging point before it is too late. I know all the sociologists tell me that I will now remember the past not as it happened but as I wanted it to happen.

When I did finally start coming out of my shell in the late teens I now mostly remember the lost opportunities where if I had just done something different my life might be much different than it is.  If only I had told Ginny how I felt about her. Instead, I held back as I always did and let it go by.  Maybe when I start bragging I can change that and a couple other stories of my life?

I kinda like to believe that my bragging here on RJsCorner is to pass on the wisdom from making so many mistakes during my years on this earth. 🙂

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(WS) Breaking Down The Myths About Deafness

On my post a while ago entitled “Life’s Lesson” I said there were ten things that I have learned in my life that I aim to put forward for your consumption here on RJsCorner. One of those is the title of this WeeklySquawk.  It is important to me and I kinda think it should be important to each of us that when we come across myths about living we should do what we can to dispell the ones that are false.

2018-04-10_15-34-23.pngThe three primary myths I have encountered that demand my personal attention are related to are deafness, autism, and old age. Of course, I am intimately familiar with each as they have demanded much from me at some time in my life. This post will focus on the deaf myths. I could give you dozens of them but I will concentrate on six that absolutely drive me crazy.

Deaf & Dumb –  This myth goes back many decades, if not centuries.  It is basically that a person who is deaf can’t learn anything. Of course, this myth has been thoroughly busted but there are still many people who when they come across a deaf person just assume that the deaf person is dumb. Maybe that feeling is unconscious but the deaf person definitely perceives it.

Deaf People Can’t Speak – It is true that for some who are born deaf, they never learn to speak. But for the vast majority of us, especially those who went deaf later in life, we usually maintain the ability to speak to one degree or another. But since we have don’t really hear our voices we have problems with the volume of our speech and sometimes the quality suffers as we get older.

Deaf People Have Low IQs – I can’t tell you how many times I have been subjected to this myth.  Deaf people generally have the same IQ spread as hearing people. Some of us are geniuses and some of us struggle with daily life.

All Deaf People Were Born That Way – As a matter of fact, only a small minority of those of us who are deaf were born that way. More than 80% of us went deaf later in life. Many in their senior years.

All Deaf People Know Sign Language – Only a small number of us who are deaf know ASL (American Sign Language). That version of signing is very different than spoken English in its word order and complexity.  Most of us who were not born deaf, if we can sign at all, sign in English.  But even those make up a less than one out of ten deaf people.

Deaf People Can Read My Lips – Less than 20% of the English language appears on the lips, so even someone who is very proficient at reading lips only has access to one in five words spoken.  The rest of it is a guessing game that we generally get wrong.  If it is important information that is being passed NEVER assume that the lipreader really understands what you are saying.  This is especially true for those communicating critical health-related info.

These six myths are important to understanding but they are by no means the totality of myths about deaf people.  I will cover more in future posts. I will just leave it by saying that for the most party deaf people pretty much mirror the general population in their abilities and intelligence.

I hope this helps…

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Simplify

“Simplify” is my current theme for living. I don’t need complicated at this point in my life. So, for this artsy Saturday, I want to give you a very simple scene.  It was taken several years ago at my favorite Shaker village near Lexington Kentucky.  What could be simpler than showing the very basics of Shaker life.

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Repeal The Second Amendment

Now before you jump on me with your rants, I am not trying to take your guns away from you.

Repeal 2.pngBeing a history nut I realize that the second amendment is presently not interpreted as it was when it was originally written.  The primary part of it was the first words “In order to establish a well-regulated militia.” The underlying fear back then was that now that the federal government has a standing army it poses a threat to the security of the separate states, so each state needs its own standing army, just in case.

But today, conservative courts have morphed the second amendment to mean that every citizen has a right to own whatever weapons they want. The idea that the second amendment is about guns and not militias, makes ANY legislation for gun control or even the studies on the social effects of guns next to impossible.  If it were gone we could treat guns like we do almost everything else that damages our society.

Repealing the second amendment would finally make it possible to give the kids what they are marching for and would finally make the sellers of firearms accountable for the damage their product does to society just like every other market in the world already is. It would make our schoolchildren safer than they have been since 2008 and honor the memories of the many, indeed far too many, victims of recent gun violence

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The Passing of Sneezy…

2018-03-19_08-09-40I regret to tell you that the Snow White team recently had a death among its members. Sneezy, after years of sneezing, had a heart attack. His system just could no longer take the stress. But the good news is Snow White has already found a replacement.

The new member is, like the other six, is a little man but he has the illusions of being a giant. He also doesn’t seem to have the ability to tell the truth about much of anything. We don’t know if his untruthful ways are the result of just plain ignorance or maybe some childhood trauma but we will try to love him in spite of this malady.

Please welcome Trumpy as the newest member of Team Snow White.  Long live Trumpy along with Sleepy, Happy, Doc, Grumpy, Dopey, and Bashful.  With this new recognition, I certainly hope Trumpy joins the other six on the German mountain where they live and leave us alone so we can get back to something resembling normal. We will even make him head dwarf if that will make him go.

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A Lot Of Noise Goin On…

Cackle Banner.jpegI don’t know why I seem to be so fixated on sounds lately let alone poultry stuff.  My daily and weekly posts here are RJsCorner are now named after sounds (cackle and squawk) that chickens make. I need to get to the underlying reason for this. 🙂  I lost my hearing thirty years ago, and since then my brain has forgotten what many sounds sound like.  Sadly one of those areas is musical instruments.  I used to play the guitar, not terribly well but to my own satisfaction, and I really enjoyed that pleasure. Now when I see a musical instrument being played, I struggle unsuccessfully to remember the sounds they make.

I was never around chickens that much, but they did make a big impression on me when I first visited my grandfather’s farm as a small kid. I loved the fresh eggs that grandpa had but didn’t appreciate being chased by the rooster when I went to feed them.  So, why this sudden infatuation with poultry sounds?

Maybe it is all Freudian? Sigmund was pretty famous a hundred years ago during my hero Will Rogers’ time but has gone out of favor since then. Freud was a big believer that the unconscious (dreams) was where the mind put things we can’t openly deal with. Maybe I am in a second mourning period for my loss of hearing?

When it comes down to it, I guess I really don’t care that much, but it is interesting none the less. 🙂

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Throwing the baby (or 242 Years of History) out with the bath water.

I am assuming that most folks know the first phrase in the title above.   Here is what my friends at Wikipedia say that means:

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In a nutshell that means don’t throw the good stuff out with the bad. That sounds like a common-sense thing to me, but it sure seems like there are a lot of folks out there that missed that lesson when it was taught. The folks I’m talking about are the ones who put the current yahoo in the Oval Office. They just seem to be so upset about not getting their share that they want to take everything away from everyone else instead of just working to get it for themselves.

We as a democracy have managed to survive 242 years with the constitution produced by our Founding Fathers. Yeah, it needs some dusting off and sprucing up, but it is the reason we are still around when so many other democracies have come and gone.

The current guy in the Oval Office just doesn’t seem to have any respect for what our founders put out.  I don’t know if it is because he hasn’t read it or just doesn’t understand it? Or maybe it is because he thinks we are a monarchy. Six of one, half dozen of the other I suspect… Will someone send him a large-print copy to look over.  Maybe one written with a very large permanent marker. He seems to favor that mode of writing if he favors any at all.

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Puppy Dog Eyes

2018-03-23_15-52-29.pngThe old Indiana governor, which is my home state is probably the best Vice President in US history.  I know that is kind of a bold statement, especially coming from me! But hear me out. If you are as sharp as a tack you probably already figured it out.

The basic job of the vice president is to sit in his office and wait for the president to die. At least that is the Republican take on it, the Democrats actually put their VPs to work. I got to change subjects slightly here to make my final point so bear with me. The old saying in DC is if a president wants a friend in Washington then he should get a dog.  Well, I think the current Oval Office occupant has the best of both worlds.

Every time I see the VP with him he is looking at him with “puppy dog eyes”.  He just seems to be in awe of everything the guy says or does.  He is definitely a loyal employee who would never dare to question anything his boss said, and he is definitely house trained.  What more could a sitting president, especially the current one, want?

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(WS) Life’s Lessons

slice7.pngBefore I get to the topic at hand on this Weekly Squawk, I need to give you some background. What brought this post on is that my viewer counts here at RJsCorner have been plateaued for a while now and I have been trying to figure out how to get more people to my site. What if I did this… What if I did that…  Most of the “How to get more views” stuff that is online tells me to find a niche to fill and to stick to the subject. But I just don’t have a one-track brain, most of the time I am juggling a dozen thoughts at the same time.  I’m sure there is a psychological term for this condition, but I don’t really care to dive into that idea. At least not for this post.  Like Popeye’s old mantra, I am what I am, and it’s kinda too late to change things now even if I wanted to. 🙂

I guess you could say that my niche is that I have learned some valuable lessons in life due to my somewhat unique circumstances.  So, here is my niche as I see it:

You can learn some valuable life lessons from a 70+ Year Old Deaf Aspie

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What are my qualifiers to claim this mantel? I am definitely 70+ years old.  I have a birth certificate to prove it. I am definitely deaf, I lost my hearing thirty years ago, and I can’t hear a damn thing except for the constant ringing in my ears. I may or may not be an official Aspie (part of the autism spectrum).  I know I have a lot of the typical characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome but have never been officially diagnosed. I have had some say that I shouldn’t tell people I am deaf or that I might be an Aspie as that will drive people away. I kinda think there are enough open-minded folks around that could be attracted by these labels instead of turned off by them. Those are the kind of people I want to attract so I will ignore any conventional wisdom and claim provisional ownership of these labels.

All that being said, I genuinely think you can learn from my personal lessons in life and especially from the mistakes I have made, and looking back I have made a lot of them. At the very least you might get a laugh or two from my approach to life.  I have put together a list of some of the more fundamental lessons I think I have learned. Here they are:

  1. Think for Yourself, Question Everything.
  2. You are not alone.
  3. Adversity builds character.
  4. Embrace Change.
  5. Break down myths that put people in suffocating boxes.
  6. Never Stop Learning or Growing
  7. Live & Let Live.
  8. Be humble, be honest, be committed.
  9. Don’t lose yourself in your fear, worry or anger as it will destroy you.
  10. Treat everyone with respect, even those who don’t treat you likewise.

I’ll be getting into each of these, and many other topics in future “Weekly Squawks” and of course they will almost always be present in the “Morning Cackles.”

I know this is supposed to be a niche, but I can’t help also giving you some things I just think are beautiful, funny, or worth noting.  Some of my life stories will also be on the venue.

But really the meat and potatoes of RJsCorner is the wit and wisdom I spew out in my Daily Cackles. That is where I give you snippets of “my view of the world.”  It is where I have my say. Sometimes it is off-the-wall, sometimes it is common-sense, and yes sometimes it is just weird. 🙂

I hope I have enticed you enough to want to stick around and maybe even more importantly, to share your life lessons here on RJsCorner.

We can all learn from each other if we just listen.

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Skeptical

2018-01-27_10-49-15.pngSkeptical is one of my favorite words, I have been using it more and more in the last year or so. Just do a search for that word here on RJsCorner, and you will probably find a couple dozen posts using it.  I think most of you know the meaning of the word but just to be sure I will present it here. I guess my “Question Everything” stand is the source of my fascination for this word.

I am skeptical about most things, but one thing I am perpetually skeptical about is what comes out of the mouth of the current Oval Office occupant. My SOP (standard operating procedure) for when I see him saying anything is now to seriously consider the opposite to be the reality. I don’t think I am alone in this regard. If you want validation of my observations, just gather his tweets on anything, and you will see how truth is a very moving and often unknown object to him.

Skepticism is a good thing to have.  Sadly, too many just latch on to what sounds good to them and disregard everything else.

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The Slippery Slope

canstockphoto21427163.jpgI have been thinking about the slippery slope lately and how it has gotten so many people in trouble over the years. About fifty years ago it caught a lot of Christians in its net. They were just tired of having to explain why science was proving things contrary to what their bible said.  They were afraid if they didn’t deny all this scientific stuff that before long the Bible wouldn’t be able to hold water. So, what did they do? They suddenly decided that every word in their beloved book had to be literally true and anyone who said otherwise was spouting fake news. They said if anything is false about the bible then everything had to be false. I never understood that logic, but that is the slippery slope they built for themselves.

Fast forward to today, and another slippery slope is catching up with some folks. These are the ones who put #CO3  in that room. They are willing to let the guy have a pass absolutely anything because if they call him out on even one thing, they will fall on a slippery slope where everything he says has to be declared fake. If that happens, they would finally have to admit that they made a terrible mistake, and recognizing that is something no one wants to do.

Ironically, it’s mostly the same group that built both slippery slopes.  Once you construct a “slippery slope,” it’s tough to get back to rational thought.

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#CO3 = CurrentOvalOfficeOccupant

For Some, The World Is Very Small Place

canstockphoto5994395.jpgI am a person who almost demands constant change. Doing the same thing over and over again is very boring to me. Maybe I am different from most in that regard?  I recently saw a TV show where an old person proudly proclaimed that he still lives in the house he was born in. My first thought was that he certainly lives in a tiny world. To never venture outside what may be comfortable to you is to stagnate as far as I am concerned. I can’t imagine remaining in one place for my whole life!

I know in my grandfather’s generation many people were born and died in the same small community. But that changed radically for my father’s generation. When they came back from WWII, they often restarted their lives pretty independent of family connections. The following generations have often lived and traveled in foreign countries at very young ages.

I see where it is common for high school trips to go outside our borders. I would never have dreamed of that back then. We, the class of 1965, were the first to go on our senior trip in an airplane.  Given that most of what we now buy is made in foreign countries, the world is much smaller than it once was.  Everything is interconnected now.  Some think that is good and some don’t. I guess I am the former variety. I personally celebrate the diversity of life. Contrary to what #CO3 says, America is about diversity.

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#CO3 = current oval office occupant